Hypertension was no match for the DASH diet during a University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study in which patients with a certain type of heart failure were given heat-and-serve low-sodium (low-salt) meals for three weeks.
In just 21 days of following a low-sodium Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, patients with “diastolic” heart failure saw a drop in blood pressure similar to taking an anti-hypertension medicine. Some patients were able to cut back on their diuretics and anti-hypertensives.
Diastolic heart failure (a type of heart failure that occurs even though the heart’s muscle-pumping function is not weakened), happens when the heart becomes stiff and does not relax enough between beats. This condition makes up more than half of older adults with heart failure, but has no standard treatment. University of Michigan cardiologist Scott L. Hummel, M.D., M.S, wondered if, based on animal studies, diet could make a big difference for these patients.